The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Historical Walk through the V & A Waterfront…

November 11th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Last Week we headed out on an adventure that we had been looking forward to for the longest time. We kept hearing about the Historical Walking Tour at the V&A Waterfront. We wanted to see if we could follow the self-guided tour and if it was something that could be done with a heap of kids along for the fun. Turns out is can be done, there is so much to stop and look at along the way, so much to do and see… that any time you need a break you just have to take a seat and watch the world go by. The Waterfront has to be one of the best places ever for people watching!!!


We headed for the Information Centre – there are two ways to do the tour – the first is a guided tour with a tour guide and the second is a “grab a fabulous map and plot your journey” kind of tour… Of course we chose the self-guided, grab your own map kind of tour. Our map is a little worse for wear, but lets face it after a couple of uses it will look like a genuine ancient artefact and perfect for a Historical Walking Tour!!!


We stopped for a snack and to plot and plan our route…. there is a pamphlet, but that is really just a sheet telling you how to book a guided tour at the visitor centre… what you need is the map, and that is available at the visitor’s centre. It has a list of the landmarks and where they are plotted on the map and if you can walk from one spot to the next you can read your tour as you travel.


There are heaps of sign-boards all over the Waterfront, documenting days gone by. And while we have noticed them before… it was the first time that we actually hunted them down one by one and read the story…




These boards form part of the walking tour, there position is marked and labeled on your map… and while the boards are scattered all over the Waterfront, not all of them are easy to find… some in fact, we really had to search for. This just added to the fun and this outing had a very definite “Adventure Race” feel to it… as all the kids dashed around from one board and hunted for the next one…


In the middle of a busy working harbour…


With ships and shipping…


And it doesn’t always look like a working harbour…


You will discover heaps of sight-seeing tours and boat rides… waiting for you to take a ride…


Lined up along the quay you will find heaps of different potential trips… and of course our youngest pirate quickly spotted a real pirate galleon, just waiting for you to test the waters!!!


In a real busy working harbour, where tourists are relaxing and enjoying all that Cape town has to offer… you will find lots of landmarks quietly waiting to be discovered…


And of course you can get up really close…


And closer still, read all about it on the plaques and explore…


The buzz of tourists, and fun touristy things to do abound…


Though Table Mountain as determined to stay under the covers…


Historical Buildings and what’s inside them… we were thrilled to spot places that we want to return to later and explore more…


There are lots and lots of plaques that we had never stopped to read before…


We discovered all about the Swing Bridge


And even saw it in action…


There are so many things to look at, that you really need to set aside time for amblings and wanderings and little distractions…


We had to stop along the way and think about friends around the world and just how far away they are…



Major landmarks…


And wildlife…


And a visit to Nobel Square…


And… this was a bit of a mystery…


And in the middle of it all we discovered some green… would you like a salad!!!


How brilliant is this… we wandered through a little urban farm, really and a nice surprise at Moyo.


And our longest stop… at the dry dock… because if you are looking for real work happening, then this is the place to stand and watch…



And then back to where we started…


So what we like about it: Apart from the fact that it is free, well the fact that is is self-paced, we could stop and linger along the way… in fact we stopped for about two hours to take a peak at the Clipper Round the World Race, but that is a whole ‘nother story. It is a great way to discover the history and interesting snippets about Cape Town. It was all very manageable, just walking a route through the waterfront area… no difficult hills, no awkward spots – all easy and accessible. So if you are keen to do your own walking tour, you can head to the information centre and ask for the map… It has red flags marked on the map for the walking tour, and it has running routes through the waterfront on the one side of the map… and we may well go back and walk those to see where they take us, sometime soon.

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Tags: Cape Town · Outings · Saturday Spot

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dale // Jan 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Looks like you had a fun learning experience, but seems you missed the Waterfront’s secret Heritage Site (19 on the map)! The Chavonnes Battery is a VOC Fort built on the original shoreline that’s been buried for 140 years. Currently hosting the Da Vinci Exhibition, the museum welcomes kids of all ages who enjoy wearing a pirate hat, taking photos with the cannons and on completing a crossword puzzle, to receive a surprise trinket. Please LIKE our Facebook page and visit the Chavonnes Battery Museum when we re-open in April 2014.

  • 2 se7en // Jan 8, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Hi Dale, Thank you so much for your comment… we did stop by the Chavonnes Battery Museum but we weren’t sure about the details: Did we have to join a tour or could we stop by anytime, what about the entry fees, and were kids welcome…So we decided to investigate the website first and explore the museum another time… Thanks to you, it sounds like a really kid friendly spot and we will definitely stop by there after you re-open. Thanks again for stoping by and have a great day.

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